di Rosa, 5200 Sonoma Highway, Napa, CA
January 18-April 6, 2014

An inherent vice is a latent defect (or the very nature) of a good or property which of itself is the cause of (or contributes to) its deterioration, damage, or devolution.

In the years since Bruce Conner’s death in 2008, the enigmatic Bay Area artist’s identity and mythology continue to evolve. With countless works intentionally unsigned, dozens of assemblages either lost or decayed due to the nature of their unstable materials, and production help from a number of alter egos, Conner’s oeuvre represents a formidable challenge for both art historians and conservationists. One can only assume that the skilled prankster himself—a man who twice declared his own death in the press—intentionally orchestrated this inherent vice.

Rather than attempt to clarify a cloudy history, Will Brown will work with previous Bruce Conner collaborators Anon, Anonymous, Anonymouse, Justin Kase, Erni Burden, Ernest E. Burden, Gene Buttman, Emily Feather, and Dennis Hopper to produce a fluctuating exhibition of artifacts and artworks related to and inspired by the legendary artist. Several items drawn from the di Rosa collection and archives will serve as starting points for an investigation of identity, authorship, remembrance, and mirroring.

Note: A related exhibition will open at Will Brown in San Francisco in January. Items will be added, subtracted, and modified freely by and between the two venues over the course of their run.

Will Brown is honored to mark the debut of On Rotation, an ongoing series that invites curators, artists, and other cultural producers to guest curate an exhibition inspired by di Rosa’s diverse permanent collection and archives. We wish to thank di Rosa curator Amy Owen for the invitation.

Sited on over 200 acres of vineyard, gardens, and natural landscape in the Napa Valley, di Rosa originated as the shared vision of Rene and Veronica di Rosa, prolific collectors whose personal passion for art and adventure fueled their support of art and artists. Their home and the famed vineyards around Winery Lake became the focal point not only for their life, but the development of the world class art collection that is now housed in three buildings, both contemporary and historic, as well as on the surrounding landscape.

Considered the most significant holding of Bay Area art in the world, di Rosa houses approximately 2,000 works of art by more than 800 artists. The collection includes significant works by Joan Brown, Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, Robert Hudson, Peter Saul, Larry Sultan, Mildred Howard, Gene Beery, Gene Buttman, and many others.